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The October 2012 cover feature, “What’s at Stake,” includes nine pieces analyzing the top issues of this election.

Below is an excerpt from Jason Howerton’s examination of U.S. border security, President Obama’s record and plans for immigration policy, and what Mitt Romney says he’s going to do to secure our borders. His full essay is available only in the October 2012 issue of TheBlaze Magazine.

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Blaze Magazine Pre election Issue: Where do the candidates stand on border security?When it comes to immigration policy, voters have a crystal clear choice between the two candidates’ vastly different positions. While President Obama has long been using immigration reform as a wedge issue to keep his undeniable advantage among Hispanic voters, Mitt Romney’s been taking a tougher stance on illegal immigration, earning him kudos from many conservatives and independents worried about our border security.

During his first term, Obama has taken a drastically different approach to illegal immigration than many of his predecessors, unilaterally implementing policy changes that have loosened the nation’s immigration laws while pushing a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. Meanwhile, Romney is vowing to strengthen U.S. border security by building a high-tech fence and putting more Border Patrol agents on the ground.

EXCUSING ILLEGALS AND SUBVERTING LAW ENFORCEMENT

Virtually ignoring the problem of illegal immigration during his first three years in office, Obama waited until election season to enact a string of unilateral policy changes that bypassed Congress and limited the states’ ability to secure their own borders.

In June, the administration announced a major shift in U.S. immigration policy, declaring that younger illegal aliens who have led generally law-abiding lives—outside of breaking U.S. immigration law—to avoid deportation. The new guidelines, which were not approved by Congress, will reportedly affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who previously lived under the threat of deportation. [...]

Not only is Obama violating his oath of office that requires he “faithfully execute” federal law, he also is preventing state officers from doing their jobs. In June, Obama unilaterally suspended a vital cooperation program that allowed Arizona law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws. [...]

Blaze Magazine Pre election Issue: Where do the candidates stand on border security?… But that’s not all. In July, the Obama administration announced it would be closing nine U.S. Border Patrol stations across four states, including six in Texas. According to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the closures are part of a plan to “reallocate” resources to high priority areas along the Mexico border, a move that infuriated local lawmakers and advocates for stricter immigration enforcement.

Don’t think it’s just Republican officials who are getting fed-up with Obama’s attempt at unilateral immigration reform. A group of 10 ICE agents and deportation officers said they were forced to file a lawsuit in federal court because Obama’s non-amnesty amnesty move sparing 800,000 illegals 30 and under prevents the agents from doing their jobs and arresting illegal aliens who violate federal law. [...]

Obama is promising to explore long-lasting immigration reform—a promise he started during the 2008 campaign when he promised to propose “comprehensive immigration reform” (read: amnesty), which he has yet to do. Democrats and progressives are urging Obama to go further in his second term. And without having to worry about re-election, it is reasonable to assume that he might; however, he has yet to lay out any specific immigration policy goals for a second term.

Blaze Magazine Pre election Issue: Where do the candidates stand on border security?LAW AND ORDER

Romney’s stated position on illegal immigration is vastly different.

His official “Strategy for Bipartisan and Long-Term Immigration Reform” calls on the federal government to secure the borders and discourage illegal immigration while encouraging highly skilled immigrants to come to the United States on work visas. [...]

Romney has also come out against amnesty, according to the campaign’s website, “because he believes that it acts as a magnet encouraging illegal immigration. The last amnesty law passed in 1986 granted legal status to 2.7 million illegal immigrants. In the decades since, the illegal immigrant population has quadrupled.” [...]

Americans are faced with two competing visions for U.S. sovereignty. For voters concerned about border security and the rule of law, the choice is pretty stark.

Get Jason’s full research and analysis of the border security issue for this election–including a full examination of the Obama record on immigration and the border–only in the October 2012 pages of TheBlaze Magazine.